Canby softball falls to No. 1 Tualatin
In the first meeting between the two Three Rivers League (TRL) teams, it was Tualatin who walked away with a decisive victory. The No. 1 team in the state put in an impressive 14-4 showing after seven innings.
Tualatin improves to 13-0 overall after its first league win, while Canby falls to 1-10 overall after its eighth straight loss.
The two teams were even after the first inning 1-1, but the Timberwolves created distance in a big second inning. Tualatin put up five runs in that time, including an RBI single from junior Savannah Braun. Braun cracked the ball through the gap between short stop and third base to send junior Sydney Wagner across home plate. By the top of the second inning, Tualatin had six runs.
Canby got a run back in the bottom of the third inning thanks to freshman Kalea Jensen after she crushed a ball over the fence for her first high school homerun.
"When I hit the homer it didn't even feel like I hit the ball," Jensen said. "I always know it's a good hit when I don't feel it come off the bat."
The Cougars bats weren't able to continue in the inning, as a fair of flyouts closed the door on any more offense.
Tualatin was able to get a trio of runs in the fifth and sixth innings combined, and able to hold Canby scoreless in that time. With the lead at 9-2, Tualatin put the nails in the coffin of the game in the seventh and final inning. The Timberwolves put five more runs on the board, including a home run of their own.
Senior Emily Johansen found a pitch she liked from Canby senior Parker Allhands and capitalized, sending it over the fence to bring in junior Tia Ridings.
The Cougars were able to get two runs back before the end of the game, and the fight towards the end was something Canby softball coach Jen Peterson was happy with.
"It's nice to see from our girls that even though we're down by 12, they could have given up but didn't and went out and got a couple more runs on the board," Peterson said. "I think that shows they're ready to go all seven innings. I think it was great they didn't just roll over."
On Tuesday, April 9 Canby nearly snapped the skid against top 10 Westview. The Cougars led 2-1 after six innings, and just needed to keep the Wildcats scoreless in the seventh inning. Unfortunately, it was not to be as Westview scored in the top of the seventh, and tied things up to force extra innings.
Two runs in the top of the ninth sealed the deal as Westview won 4-2. While the game goes in the books as an 'L' for the Cougars, the fact of the matter remains that Canby was competitive right up until the bitter end.
The pitching from freshman Jaiden Lee and pitch calling from senior catcher Kamryn Mobley were big reasons for the long stretch of success against Westview.
"Jaiden pitched very, very well today," Peterson said. "That's one thing we've been working on is her pitch location. Kam did an extra job behind the plate calling, I let Kam call the entire game. She calls all the pitches, and she did a great job of that, and Jaiden did a great job of hitting her spots. It helped a lot, she's been working on her location pitches and it showed. They were looking for walks, and she ended up getting strikeouts."
Add onto that a homerun from Mobley in the third inning, and Canby seemed well on its way to beating Westview. It's flashes of brilliance like that that have Peterson confident in the team's ability to earn a top spot in the league and a berth in the playoffs.
"We've been moving people around in preseason, and I think we have people set up in league," Peterson said. "We're still hoping to finish top 3 in league and make playoffs, that's still our goal. Now it's all finally clicking. The underclassmen have started to relax and gel with our upperclassmen. That was the whole point of preseason was playing tough teams and wanting to challenge ourselves. We wanted to see how we could do heading into league."
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